The Tanzania 2015 election is soon under way, and live results will be available online as the nation picks its next president.
The election, the fifth held in the African nation since the multi-party system was restored in 1992, will include votes for president, members of parliament, and local offices. Voting takes place on Sunday, October 23, with oversight from the National Election Commission.
While the live results of the 2015 Tanzania election is still coming in, voters already know they will have a new president. The incumbent, Jakaya Kikwete, has been term limited out of the office after serving his third term. His ruling party, the Chama Cha Mapinduzi, picked John Magufuli as the nominee, a surprise as former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa was seen by many as a stronger pick.
Instead, Lowassa moved to the opposition party, creating what experts say could be a contentious and extremely close vote.
There is even more drama surrounding the Tanzania 2015 election. There had been speculation over the past few months that Kikwete may seek to extend his term through a constitutional mandate, but he stressed that he was done with a job he called “stressful and thankless.”
Kikwete has actually been an advocate for governmental stability on the region, recently calling on Burundi to hold to a peace agreement that set a presidential limit of two terms. There had been rumors that President Pierre Nkurunziza may try to seek a third term, which Kikwete said would set bad precedent for the region.
“Anyone who wants to be elected must respect Arusha Accords, Burundi’s constitution and election law,” Kikwete said (via the Mail and Globe Africa).
Magufuli is seen as being strong on corruption, a stance popular with the Tanzanian people who have grown tired of scandals involving government officials. He has promised to establish an anti-corruption court.
But Lowassa himself has a large contingent of supporters, holding rallies that draw many young people. His messages have resonated with this group, one that faces high unemployment and forms an important voting block. The National Election Commission shows that more than half of all registered voters are between the ages of 18 and 35.
Those who follow the Tanzania 2015 election results live online could see a day of mixed results for CCM. Polls show that Magufuli is the frontrunner for president — though it is still quite close — but the party could still suffer losses in parliament.
— BBC Africa (@BBCAfrica) October 23, 2015
Whatever happens with the elections, it seems that Tanzania will avoid the conflict and protest that many of its neighbors have seen during elections. Despite a number of scandals involving presidents, Tanzania has been one of the most stable nations in Africa, with smooth transitions of power dating back more than 50 years.
— Tendai Marima (@i_amten) October 20, 2015
The BBC noted,
“Multi-party elections in Tanzania have always taken place as scheduled. There have been accusations of fraud in past polls but presidents have stepped down at the end of their tenure and ethnic tensions over elections are virtually unheard of in the country of more than 100 ethnic groups.”
But there is still some tension, with some worried that militias (known locally as ninjas) could play a role.
“People worry about the militias, because the ninjas came and destroyed our things in the market during voter registration [in June], and we think they’ll come again,” fisherman Sal Abbas told Al Jazeera. “This year doesn’t look peaceful. If it was, why would there be so many soldiers patrolling here?”
There are six other candidates vying for president of Tanzania, including Anna Anna Mghwira of the Alliance for Change and Transparency (ACT-Wazalendo). But none have performed particularly well in polls, and it is largely seen as a two-person race between Magufuli and Lowassa.
Those who want to follow live results of the 2015 Tanzania election can do so through IPP Media and Tanzania Today.
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